Youth smoking survey

Last Updated: September 9, 2013

Nazeem Muhajarine, PhD (Saskatchewan Provincial Collaborator)

Adolescence is the most common period for smokers to pick up the habit, with most beginning by age 19.

The Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, a partnership between the Canadian Cancer Society and the University of Waterloo, coordinates the study. SPHERU has subcontracted with the University of Waterloo to implement the smoking survey with high school students from 28 schools across Saskatchewan. SPHERU is the Saskatchewan coordinator of the biennial Youth Smoking Survey. The survey is an important tool helping schools and provincial and federal government agencies across Canada assess youth substance use and related health behaviours and understand youth perspectives on tobacco, alcohol, drugs, bullying, school connectedness, self-esteem, healthy eating and physical activity. Participating schools receive detailed results in a customized School Health Profile, which are used to educate communities and inform school policies and programs. There is an opportunity to impact the health of Canadian youth to a greater extent through population-based interventions informed by evidence such as YSS data.

Goals / Outcomes: The Youth Smoking Survey, led by Principal Investigator Steve Manske of the University of Waterloo, is examining the factors that increase or decrease the likelihood youth will start smoking. Reliable data on the prevalence of youth tobacco use is critical to assessing the need for increased legislative controls and bolstering support for policy options. Provincial and federal tobacco control policies and programs are currently being informed by YSS data from previous surveys.

Funder: Health Canada